Travis Brown Ottawa RedBlacks 2014. Photo Scott Grant

Just like the Redblacks have done in previous off-seasons, Ottawa recently sent fans an email about the themes for each home game in 2020.

Normally, that wouldn’t be something overly newsworthy, but the reveal included some interesting bits as it pertains to the Redblacks’ uniforms.

The thing that immediately jumped out was that Ottawa’s third home game of the season (on July 24th against the Eskimos) will be a “RED OUT” — presumably the idea is to fill the stadium with everyone in R-Nation wearing red. In order to achieve that goal, they’ll be launching a new third jersey, which will be red. Clearly it will need to be released well before game day for fans to actually purchase and wear it to the event.

This won’t be the first time the Redblacks have had a red third jersey. Back in 2014, when the league’s uniforms were supplied by Reebok, the CFL unveiled its Signature Look line. For that, the Redblacks went with an all-red, hockey-style jersey that feature a grey buzz saw with their signature notched R.

Although it drew some comparison’s to Dr. Seuss’ Thing 1 & 2, overall, it was extremely well received by fans in the nation’s capital. It’s also a nice nod to Ottawa’s 131 years of pro football history as the Rough Riders and Renegades have both used red jerseys at different times.

Speaking of throwbacks, another piece of information that may suggest a second new jersey for the Redblacks is that for the second straight year, Ottawa will have a retro night theme. 2019’s was a bust. On a night when Rough Rider legend Kaye Vaughan was on hand to have his number retired and added to the Wall of Fame, the only thing retro about the game was that the team stores sold hats and t-shirts with the old Rough Rider ‘R’.

The team itself used their regular jerseys with their normal helmet decals, concession prices weren’t cheaper like some teams do on throwback nights. Instead of having Vaughan come out in a Rough Rider jersey, he came out in a customized Redblacks’ one. All in all, it was a massive fail on OSEG’s part, which was puzzling for an organization that is normally so in-tune with its fan base.

Simply put, there was nothing retro about the evening. Given the flak the team took for it, here’s hoping they learned their lesson for their 2020 retro night. That said, it would be odd (but not unheard of) for the team to unveil two new jerseys in a single season.

Still, since New Era took over as the league’s official apparel supplier in 2019, jersey changes have been minimal (aside from the Alouettes rebrand of course).

With the Stampeders teasing a new look, it’s not a stretch to imagine every team unveiling a new third and perhaps even retro jersey for the upcoming season. The timing makes sense too, as when New Era took over, they said the earliest they would introduce new jerseys would be 2020.

The one thing that throws cold water on the theory of Ottawa unveiling two new jerseys is that the retro game is a week before the RED OUT game, so it’s a bit of a stretch to assume the team would be in new threads on consecutive weeks.

Still, R-Nation should be excited about the fact that one new jersey is guaranteed and with any luck, the retro Rough Rider look fans have been clamouring for since the return of pro football to the capital in 2014, may also be on hand.

Comments

Avatar
Santino Filoso is originally from Ottawa and has written about the Redblacks since 2013. He is the only CFL writer currently living in Brazil (as far as we know).